Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween everyone.

Today is the day that Elizabeth Mueller's novel DARKSPELL launches. Elizabeth is an amazing author and blogger friend so do drop by her blog here and find out all about DARKSPELL and check out the wonderful illustrations that she's created for it. Order it here from Amazon.

In honor of Halloween and Darkspell, Elizabeth is hosting a SPOOKFEST! And it is such a fun one too. "If I had all the magic in the world, I'd ... " Could you imagine the fabulous possibilities. SO for today what would you answer? We'd all like to know...

If I had all the magic in the world, I would definitely use it for good. I would cure the people of the world... NO cancer, NO aids, NO diabetes, NO high blood pressure, NO crippling arthritis, NO mental illness, NO ___ (fill in the blank). And lastly, NO anxiety for my writer pals. We'd all have best selling books.  So everyone in the world would be happy and healthy and therefore create peace....

As a special treat for Halloween I would like to share with all of you an excerpt from my first book AMBER AND THE WHISPERING WILLOWS.

Like Elizabeth I also illustrated my novel This excerpt and illustration is from chapter 13, Nina's Revenge.

Amber gaped at the former gymnasium. Dozens of carved pumpkins flickered; each one illuminating a different expression: some scary, and some smiling. Life-sized scarecrows guarded the haystacks and the straw covered floor. The spider-webbed ceiling attracted hundreds of black bats accompanied by dozens of waving ghosts. 

Justin combed the crowd for his friends. 

“Have a good time, kids,” Uncle Paul said as he left to chat with the other chaperones.

Amber and Nina searched for Elise, Cindy, and Denise. As they hunted, the “Monster Mash played over the loud speakers. Amber spotted Cindy’s zebra mask and took Nina by the hand, weaving through the crowd toward her. 

“Hi, Cindy. I just love what you and the others did to the gym ... it looks amazing! I’d like you to meet my best friend, Nina Landau. She danced in the recital with me.”

“Hi. I remember you — you did that sweet solo.”  

Nina blushed. “Thanks, Cindy. It’s nice to meet you. I’m so glad Amber has met some friendly girls at school ... it’s such a nice change from Lucy Carpenter.”

“Oh, so you know Lucy?” Cindy cringed. “That’s right, you’re in the same ballet class.” 

A few minutes later Amber introduced Nina to Elise and Denise. They had a wonderful time bashing Lucy and the wannabes. Mr. Easterbrook soon joined the group and complimented them all on their costumes.

“Amber, can we get something to drink?” Nina asked.

Amber nodded and they excused themselves from the others. At the far end of the gym four large tables set with orange and black tablecloths seemed to groan under the weight of all kinds of sweets: cupcakes, cookies, brownies, cakes with orange and black icing, candied apples, caramel apples, trays and trays of candies, apple cider, fruit punch and sodas.

They each took a frosted cupcake and some punch. Students as well as teachers chatted and danced to the upbeat music. 

Amber and Nina munched on their cupcakes and were just about to return to the others when Nina heard a familiar sneer.

“What are you doing here, mouse? You don’t go to this school,” Lucy said, stepping into their space. 

“I invited her!” Amber glowered. “We’re allowed to bring a guest.” 

“Vermin don’t count,” Lucy chided. Heather and Colleen burst out into fits of laughter.

“So why are you here, princess? If I’m a mouse, you’re a rat!”  

“Come on, Nina, let’s go ... they’re so not worth our time.” 

As the turned, Lucy clutched a handful of flowers, ripping them off Nina’s leotard. 

“They’re way too pretty for the likes of you.” Lucy laughed. 

Nina didn’t react at first, but Amber’s face flushed.

Lucy, Heather, and Colleen continued laughing as a thick green vine sprouted from a nearby jack-o-lantern. It crawled along the straw covered floor toward the three girls. Within seconds it wrapped itself around them, binding them before they could react. Amber heard three muffled screams as they hit the floor, disappearing under the table. The orange tablecloth covered up the incident. 

Amber marveled at Nina’s skill. Her timing couldn’t have been better. No other people happened to be at the table and the music played too loud for anyone to hear. 

“If I hadn’t seen it. I never would’ve believed it,” Amber whispered. 

Smirking, Nina lifted the tablecloth, and smiled at the three girls with a gleam in her eyes. 

“Enjoy the rest of the party, girls ... I know I will.” She waved to them and dropped the tablecloth back over them. 

Well everyone I hope you enjoyed my Halloween excerpt and illustration ... please let me know what you think.



  1. I'm going to second Alex! Beautiful detail!!

  2. Haha, sneaky you. I enjoyed your passage and especially your drawing.
    Thanks for helping.

    Happy Halloween! :)


  3. ooo... spooky! I love the drawing and the passage! And Elizabeth's book sounds great. I wish her all the luck with it. Happy Halloween! :o) <3

  4. Hey there, visiting you from Elizabeth's site. Love what you'd do with all the magic in the world. Great excerpt! :)

  5. You took me right back to those awkward teen years of dances at the school gym, complete with decorations. Love the atmosphere you created! Hmm, let's see, if I had all the magic in the world, I'd put comfort and joy in everyone's heart at least 50% of the time, and nothing too awful the rest of the time, just some everyday hassles to make us all appreciate the beauty in life when we feel it.

  6. Love the picture - and love the fact that, in your story at least, the mean girls get their comeuppance :-)

  7. Oh, how I wish I could draw like you! Sigh. Love your excerpt - sometimes the mean girls get theirs. If I had all the magic in the world, I would share it with all my friends. I think magic shared grows, then there would be more magic in this weary world!

  8. Haha, that was awesome! It's fun to know the story behind the picture. that happy face on the pumpkin looks just a touch more menacing now...

    Happy Halloween!

  9. You're such a talented illustrator as well!!
    So yeah, Monday you'll be in Orlando?? I'd love to meet you guys in person! I don't know if I can swing the theme park (altho I'd love to) but maybe I can meet you guys somewhere else? You are welcome to visit in Tampa of course, but if it's too far outta the way, let's work something out for sure. I can meet you at downtown Disney or something like that. Let me know! Let's do it! I'll email you my cell. :)

  10. I love the green vines sliding along the floor and trapping the bullies. Original.

    If I were to wish for something it would take so long because you wouldn't want a negative side effect. I think I might like to reestablish the year of jubilee in the Bible. Jubilee occurred every seven years and those who had lost their property or sold themselves into servitude had their property restored, debt free, and their freedom. It might just solve some of our economic problems these days. I know it would irritate the greedy people of the world.

    I've got part one of your question up on my blog.
    N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author

  11. Great illustrations and story sniplet. I'd glad she didn't "just take it."

  12. It is all good and great, art and words, verrrrry creative.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Halloween.

  13. Hi Michael. You're an awesome illustrator. I'm going to have a go for my collection of short stories. Your details are so fine.

    Loved the excerpt. This is a sweet novel or the excerpts i've read seem to be.


  14. That's a great excerpt and an awesome jack-o'-lantern.

  15. Nice excerpt and great drawing! I love that pumpkin!

  16. A perfect excrept for Halloween, Michael :) Mean girls, magic, mystery . . Awesome.

    I love your illustrations. They are absolutely gorgeous.


  17. Delightfully creepy chapter! A lovely illustration, too. You are truly multitalented.

  18. I could totally see you saving the world with your super powers. Darkspell sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out.

    I LOVE your excerpt! I think this novel is going to be something special. And your illustration is fantastic too! I hope you had a great Halloween.

  19. Great excerpt! :)

    The vines in the drawing seem to have a bit more significance now . . . LOL.

  20. Beautiful answer and illustration! I enjoyed reading your excerpt! :)

  21. Michael, please run a malwarebytes scan on your computer (download the software free from After installing, select the update tab first to update the database to the most current one available.

    Also run ccleaner (you can get it from piriform).

    Change your password on Twitter.

    I suspect that you have a keylogger on your computer as I have received spam from your twitter account via a direct message (meaning your account has been hacked).

    Also make sure that Windows has all of it's updates by checking with Windows update and selecting (custom) instead of (express) or by just going to the control panel and having windows 7 check it for you.